DARLINGTON MOWDEN PARK will turn to youth again tomorrow when they host Taunton Titans in National One.

A feature of the Mowden squad this season has been the number of young players who have established themselves as first-team regulars in their first year in the third tier.

This weekend’s matchday squad has an average age of just 24, something forwards coach Joe Cain was keen to highlight as looked ahead to Taunton's visit.

Cain said: “We’ve got a number of promising young players within the group which is really exciting for the club. We are lucky that we have a great blend of experienced players with the younger group as they can both offer different qualities that we are benefitting from hugely.”

The young Mowden squad has made a bright start to the season so far, winning five of their ten league fixtures to date, including impressive wins over Rams, Richmond and Sedgley Park.

"We’ve had a real change in the intensity we have trained this year and that’s been driven from our younger players," continued Cain. "Some of our new signings this year are in that young bracket - Oscar Usher (19), Charlie Smith (19) Harry Yates (21) and Eoin Harrison (21) have all added to our squad massively and will hopefully continue to do so.”

Second-row Usher and outside-centre Yates have been ever-present for the National One side this season, playing in every game so far.

Speaking last month after his first five games for the club, Usher said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time at the club so far and the lads around me and coaches have made the transition into a new squad much easier.”

Tomorrow's game sees Mowden welcome a struggling Taunton side to the Arena. The visitors currently find themselves in the relegation places, but have been one of the league’s highest-scoring sides in the opening ten rounds.

Previous games between the two have largely been high scoring, and Cain is excited to be back at home this weekend.

He said: “We're really looking forward to being back at the Arena on Saturday to face a tough Taunton side. Taunton will be coming up north with nothing to lose. They have been on the wrong side of a couple of close fixtures recently so they have everything to play for.

"We have trained well this week and are looking to put right a few wrongs after the Rosslyn Park game last week. We can’t wait to get going again on Saturday.”

Mowden have made three changes to the side that travelled to Rosslyn last week. Talite Vaioleti, Henry Hadfield and Oli Spencer all return to the starting line-up, with hooker Ollie Fletcher also returning to the matchday squad as part of a strong bench.